Home and Motor Insurance Rules

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Central Bank of Ireland introduced rules to protect home and motor insurance consumers from 1 July 2022.

The rules followed the Central Bank's 2021 review of differential pricing in the home and motor insurance markets.

The review found that the practice of price walking could result in unfair outcomes for some consumers.

The Central Bank proposed a series of measures to strengthen the consumer protection framework in the areas of pricing practices, annual review and record keeping, and automatic renewals.

These proposals were set out in a formal consultation paper, which sought views from relevant stakeholders.

You can read the response to the consultations, and a feedback statement from the Central Bank, have now been published.

Insurance Regulations Requirements 2022 | pdf 173 KB Insurance Regulations 2022 - Q&A (updated 6 May 2022) | pdf 510 KB

A stronger consumer protection framework

Following the consultation process, the Central Bank introduced rules to protect consumers and make buying car and home insurance fairer.

1. Price walking ban

The Central Bank is banning a practice known as “price walking". Price walking is where you are charged a higher premium the longer you remain with your insurer, and for no reason other than staying with the same provider.

Banning price walking ends the “loyalty penalty” insurance customers can experience for staying with an insurer.  Now,when you renew your home or motor insurance for the second time or more, your insurer can no longer charge you more than someone who is renewing for the first time, and has a similar risk profile and cost of service to you.

Banning Price Walking 2022

2. Review of pricing policies and processes

Providers of motor and home insurance will have to review their pricing policies and processes annually. This will ensure insurance providers focus on pricing practices and the impact these practices may have on customers, while also ensuring adherence to new pricing provisions and the fair treatment of consumers.

3. Automatic renewal process

If your home or motor insurance policy renews automatically, you will now be given additional information that will be consistent across insurance providers. This will help you make more informed decisions when renewing your insurance, and prompt you to consider if your insurance policy continues to serve your needs and whether you should think about switching to another provider.

Review of regulations

In December 2023, the Central Bank published a “Review of Differential Pricing Regulations in the Private Car and Home Insurance Markets”. The Review was prepared for the Minister for Finance and looked at the effectiveness of the regulations.

The Review found that the regulations are working effectively and as intended. It found that customers who remain with their current insurance provider no longer pay a loyalty penalty and they still have the opportunity to get a better-priced premium through switching insurance provider.

Review of Differential Pricing Regulations in the Private Car and Home Insurance Market | pdf 551 KB

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